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Your Experiences

This is the heart of the site where you share your experiences. While we offer lots of advice and anecdotes from professional writers, this is the opportunity for readers to have their say and let everyone else learn from their mistakes, sharing the ups and downs of life abroad. Send your submissions to

Formative experiences
In the long years since he began translating Italian into English, Nik Boini has learnt to find meaning in the worst textual tangles. There are, he finds, some words that are better left unsaid
Leaving Slough to Ricky Gervais
After three decades in Canada, Guardian Abroad reader Helen Dyer is beginning to realise that Slough is no longer where she’s from. These days it’s just that place from The Office
Seeing double in Barcelona
Natasha Young admits that living in the Catalonian capital can often be an incredible challenge and a huge expense, but the warm sunshine and the vibrant nightlife somehow make it all worthwhile
A life divided
From the day she left her family behind to go to school, Guardian Abroad reader Mary T N Morris began to feel that no matter where she might be, home is always somewhere else
Don’t speak English in Japan!
John Abecasis-Phillips is a Guardian Abroad reader. He explains that the way Japanese schools teach English means that students may be able to read the language but have real trouble when it is spoken
Don’t shy away from a new life
Mikki Spence writes that adjusting to a foreign country means learning to live with the feeling of being suspended between two worlds, until both of them start to feel suspiciously like home
Get out of the expat ghetto
Gillian Bennett is a Guardian Abroad reader. She has lived in Italy for 17 years, but wishes she had made more of an effort to fit in. She looks at the impact of segregation on our emotional health
Leave your cultural assumptions at the border
Brian Polkinghorne is a Guardian Abroad reader. He writes that newcomers to Africa might be shocked by what they see, but if they learn to resist snap judgments they could form some great relationships
Words to the warriors
Anne Dixon and her friends from Global English have spent the last two years working as volunteer English teachers at schools in Ghana, Malawi and Tanzania
Warm hearts in snow country
Montreal’s much-deserved reputation for social tolerance often puts Europe to shame, says Gavin Reddin after a few months in the Great White North
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